SATNET intraregional visit wraps up in Nepal with participants expressing satisfaction with new knowledge gained
On the fourth day (22 Aug 2014) of the SATNET Intraregional Visit for Smallholder Value Chain Actors, the participants first visited an organic vegetable collection centre run by a local Marketing and Planning Committee (MPC) near Tansen in Palpa district. The centre is supported by iDE in partnership with local NGOs and the private sector, and follows a market-led approach with a crop calendar prepared keeping in view market demand and prices in order to enable good returns for the farmers.
|Off-season tomato cultivation under plastic house|
The group also visited the Chirtungdhara Village Development Committee (VDC) where the participants observed with keen interest a technique for off-season (rainy season) tomato cultivation. The creepers are grown under a ‘plastic house’ along bamboo poles fixed in the ground which helps to prevent waterlogging. Drip irrigation is used for watering the crop. Such off-season cultivation allows the farmers to obtain higher prices for their produce. The technique was initially demonstrated by iDE in the area and has now been adopted by a large number of farmers.
|Multiple water use system collection tank|
Another interesting technology seen was the Multiple Use Water System (MUS). A highland drinking water source feeds a collection tank for drinking water. The overflow from this tank is channelled to a second collection tank for irrigation (including drip irrigation purposes) so that drinking water use is prioritized over irrigation. Distribution to end users at downhill locations takes place through a network of pipes. This technology is suitable for hilly areas, and supports climate change adaptation through water resource conservation. It is particularly helpful for women who otherwise have to climb long distances to collect drinking water for their households. A committee of community members is constituted to manage and monitor the operation of the MUS. In this context, the visitors also suggested rain water harvesting and its storage in concrete tanks to augment water availability for households in the community.
|Community meeting at Chidipani MPC|
Finally, the group visited an MPC/Collection Centre at Chidipani VDC and obtained in-depth information on the work of the MPC which has now been successfully constituted as a cooperative. The MPC’s activities include promotion of IPM, training of farmers, vegetable collection, post-harvest support, and marketing, and mobilization of savings. The visitors took a tour of the farm of a progressive farmer during which a number of useful techniques and farm machinery were demonstrated.
|Participants with their certificates|
At the end of the day, the participants provided feedback on the visit at a Warp Up meeting held in Kathmandu. It was expressed that this visit had provided a unique, hands-on learning opportunity for smallholder representatives, and that they had received (as well as shared) much new knowledge and ideas. Some of the areas/technologies that were cited as particularly useful were irrigation systems (including drip irrigation and MUS), off-season tomato cultivation under plastic house, IPM practices, bio-gas production, and aquaculture techniques. The participants conveyed their strong intent to apply and disseminate the learning upon return to their home countries. All of them were also awarded certificates of participation by CAPSA and iDE for taking part in the visit.